Custom Airplane

I wondered if there was a place that could build me a custom airplane?
I'm a big fan of the Anime Cowboy Bebop and was wanting to know if I could
find someone willing to build me an RC plane model of one of the ships in
the show, the Swordfish II.
Reply to
Scotty
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| I wondered if there was a place that could build me a custom airplane? | | I'm a big fan of the Anime Cowboy Bebop and was wanting to know if I could | find someone willing to build me an RC plane model of one of the ships in | the show, the Swordfish II.
There's lots of people who could make a custom plane. Pretty much anybody who could build a plane without a kit or plans could probably work something out.
It'll probably be expensive though. Considering that a scale model can take hundreds of hours to make, and they'll probably want to be paid by the hour, it could get expensive very quickly.
If it's a small foam model it could be done more quickly, but it'll still take a while.
Looking at the Swordfish II (here's a picture here --
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it's not going to fly well. It doesn't really have much of a tail so unless one is added it's going to be rather unstable. Yes, there are slope planes without tails (my M60 comes to mind) but they're usually rather short.
And in this case, most of the mass appears to be in the back. In order to make it fly forwards, you'll need to add a lot of weight to the front, and/or make the back stuff very light. (If you put a motor in the back, there's no way you could make it light enough without lots of weight up front.)
I don't think anything you had built would fly very well. Unless you just wanted a static model that didn't fly? That would be a lot easier.
I admit, it would be a neat looking plane, but alas I don't see it flying and still looking much like the original.
Reply to
Doug McLaren
How about a profile?? Does it need to be exact?? Foam, some white glue, alittle experimenting....you probally could do it yourself.
Mike R
Reply to
Mike
I know very little about wing design to give the plane lift, also i don't know much about balancing either, I'd rather find someone who can build it for me, it is my understanding alot of these custom designers already have machines to laser cut the wings and such. I found a site but cant recall the name of it where they built stuff like flying lawnmowers and other wacky designs.
Reply to
Scotty
Is there a website you could point me to or something? I'm not sure how to find these people.
I'd be willing to spend around four or five hundred bucks. Maybe more if they can get it to look more like the one in the show and not so much like the model you linked to, the model looks like a slightly distorted version of the drawn version, I know it won't be exact but I think it could be made to look a little more like the shows.
I was thinking it would have to be done out of foam actually. Didn't know there were other materials custom jobs like this could be done with. I know wood for standard planes but this is a bit different shape than the average plane.
So if I put the motor in the back I just have to add some weight to the front to balance it out? I can do that.
I definately want it to fly.
Maybe adding some fins to the back would help stabilize it some. I can deal with some minor changes but nothing too much. I want it to be as close to the original as possible.
Reply to
Scotty
On Mon, 8 Aug 2005 00:00:27 -0400, "Scotty" wrote in :
There seem to be several different static kits available for the plane:
You should probably buy a couple of these and use them to refine your plans. Asking someone to build from watching a cartoon is probably not going to end up in a plane that you like.
Yes, you can, if you have enough wing area to carry the extra weight.
I think you should check with a rocket group. You could have the Swordfish blast off, then glide back under radio control. People have done rocket/glider versions of the X-1 that were dropped from a B-29 mother ship.
For learning purposes--so that you'll be ready to fly your Starship--you might try contacting a club and doing some flight training. You might also find a model builder in the club who would be willing to work with you on the project.
Marty
Reply to
Martin X. Moleski, SJ
| > | > There's lots of people who could make a custom plane. Pretty much | > anybody who could build a plane without a kit or plans could probably | > work something out. | | Is there a website you could point me to or something? I'm not sure how to | find these people.
I'm not aware of many people who make a business out of building planes from scratch for others.
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is pretty close, but it doesn't look like he creates custom planes.
| I'd be willing to spend around four or five hundred bucks. Maybe more if | they can get it to look more like the one in the show
This guy has probably done a better job --
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Looking at his first picture, it would basically have to be a flying wing with extras. Unfortunately, the extras are in back which will screw up the center of gravity badly. They'd have to be VERY light.
The round thing on the back has some bits inside that would function as a tail, though it doesn't really look big enough. And if you tried to put an engine in there, you'd have to put so much weight up front that it probably wouldn't fly.
The best bet would probably be to go for a slope glider with no engine, and make the tail be totally non functional, so it can be as light as possible. But I don't think that's what you're after.
It would be very challenging to make this fly _and_ look like the original, especially with an engine mounted in the back. If you put an engine up front somewhere, that would be easier, but would look far less like the original.
| > If it's a small foam model it could be done more quickly, but it'll | > still take a while. | | I was thinking it would have to be done out of foam actually. | Didn't know there were other materials custom jobs like this could | be done with. I know wood for standard planes but this is a bit | different shape than the average plane.
People do buy boxes of balsa and cut their own ribs and make their own planes from scratch. It could be done here, though foam would probably make a lot more sense.
Still, I don't see how anybody could do a good job on this and charge only $500 for a finished plane.
| So if I put the motor in the back I just have to add some weight to the | front to balance it out? I can do that.
You'd have to add a lot of weight up front.
It would be a lot easier to make a model of this that flew backwards :)
| Maybe adding some fins to the back would help stabilize it some. I can deal | with some minor changes but nothing too much. I want it to be as close to | the original as possible.
Maybe you could get this guy to build it for you --
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as some of the challenges would be similar. And the end result would probably be similar as well -- with a motor up front :)
Reply to
Doug McLaren
I can tell you that there are a few shortcomings in your idea of getting somebody to build you a model of the Swordfish II. I used to build airplanes from scratch professionally, but I haven't done it in several years. The reason why is that you can buy just about any airplane ready-built by Chinese slaves for around $100, which has driven down the perceived value of a model airplane.
The el-cheapo factor in today's market has also discouraged most of the other custom builders. I haven't heard of anybody building professionally lately. So good luck finding somebody to build your plane.
Your other, possibly more significant problem, is that you are asking for a completely new design. You don't just want somebody to build you a plane, you want engineering, test flying, refining, redesigning and rebuilding. In other words, product development. That's worth more than $500, unless you hire somebody who has nothing else to do and doesn't care about the money.
I have a personal example of this problem. I used to build planes frequently for a guy named Andre in Mississippi. He is a heck of a nice guy, and truly passionate about airplanes, but he just didn't have time to build, or to learn the finer points of building from plans. I built several nice planes for him, mostly from the RCM plans catalog, and he was very happy. (in case you are interested, he liked the Simple Citabria .25, Whimpy and Cloud Dancer .60 a lot.) On one occasion he wanted me to build him a Pete 'n' Rand Parasol, which was an RCM plan from the 1960s built around a Rand actuator and looking a lot like a Pietenpol. The plans showed a symmetrical airfoil, and the reason for this was that the center of lift of a symmetrical airfoil does not change when the angle of attack changes. Incidentally, this is why helicopter blades are symmetrical. The designer chose this airfoil because you don't have any control over pitch once you are in the air with a rudder-only radio. Andre's plane was to use three channels, and he thought it would be better with a flat bottom airfoil than symmetrical, considering that it was supposed to be a small .10 powered putt-putt model for relaxing flying. I thought he was probably right, so I built the plane as ordered. He told me that he didn't want me to do a lot of engineering, testing and rebuilding, so I simply built one and mailed it to him. The sad end to the story is that he put it on the runway, took off, did an immediate loop into the ground and destroyed the plane in about 10 seconds. I guess the incidence of the engine, tail or wing needed some adjustment. Oh well.
The moral of the story is that if you need engineering, get it done one way or the other. If you can't do it yourself and you don't want to pay for it, you should learn how and do it yourself, or save your money until you can pay for it, or just forget it for now and move on to something else. Don't worry. If you like RC and you learn to build and fly, there isn't any reason why you can't figure out how to build your Swordfish II by next year or the next.
Scotty wrote:
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
How do I find a model builder? That is what this whole post was about. ;p I'm not part of any club atm, don't even know where any are around here, Columbus, OH.
Reply to
Scotty
More money wouldn't be out of the question, I'd just have to know how much before I agreed to have them build it.
Reply to
Scotty
Just to see where you stand, do you already know how to fly RC? Not trying to be a jerk and tell you that you don't know what you're doing. I just want to save you time, money and aggravation. If you don't know how to fly RC, might I suggest that you first learn how, and have some fun while doing it. Meanwhile, you can learn to build from balsa, foam, corrugated plastic, or whatever your choice of building materials. If you try to push the fast-forward button on flying and building RC planes, you will probably be disappointed with the experience. Maybe not, but probably so.
If you cough up $500 for somebody to build you a weird plane, chances are that you won't be able to fly it anyway until you learn to fly RC in general. In that case, your Swordfish will sit around waiting for your skills to catch up. By the time you have flying figured out, you will likely be in a position where building the Swordfish won't seem so intimidating, and you could build one yourself with a bit of experimentation. One way or the other, you're not going to fly it successfully for a while anyway, so why don't you just put the Swordfish on the back burner, get an RC plane, learn to fly it, and see where you are in a few months.
If you already know how to fly RC and have some other motivation for wanting somebody else to build the Swordfish, then I don't understand where you're coming from and you probably don't need my advice anyway.
Scotty wrote:
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
Some people do not have the technical apptitude to do this. So they farm it out. In my case I feel I fly OK, have degrees in small engine repair, raced karts and built kart engines, can repair and tune any 2 stroke to purr like a kitten, and can use most wood and metal working machinery/tools.
OTOH I have no clue about r/c tx's or rx's on how they operate inside....so anything Doug McLaren posts/replies about radios, frequency stuff, ect I always read since I believe he knows the most about it. Areodynamics-welll kinda know something but not a strong point. Again, I like to read McLaren's posts on this aswell.
Mike R
Reply to
Mike
| OTOH I have no clue about r/c tx's or rx's on how they operate | inside....so anything Doug McLaren posts/replies about radios, | frequency stuff, ect I always read since I believe he knows the most | about it. Areodynamics-welll kinda know something but not a strong | point. Again, I like to read McLaren's posts on this aswell.
Boy, do I have you fooled :)
I know a fair amount about a lot of things. I post a lot. But if you read my posts, you'll see that I often say `I don't know' or `I guess' or `maybe'. And I do occasionally post things that turn out to be flat out wrong.
I'm a jack of many trades, but a master of none. Including radios and aerodynamics. :) There are certainly people here who know more about either one than I do.
(But on the plus side, I like to think I have a good idea of what I don't know, and I'll admit it.)
I'm also really mediocre at airplane design and repair. And at flying 3D, helicopters and gliders. (But I'm trying to improve, though I'm not so worried about 3D. Lately I've been mostly working on thermal gliders.)
But thanks for the praise. :)
(And I think I've used more than the permitted number of smilies in this post. So I'd better stop here.)
Reply to
Doug McLaren
Here is the reply from flyingthingz.com
Hello Scott,
This looks like it's definitely the type of aircraft that FlyingThingZ would be very happy to produce. Unfortunately, we are currently swamped with projects until spring of 2006. We will keep your recommendation on file and do the necessary market studies regarding the viability of producing such an aircraft.
You can add yourself to our mailing list to receive updates on newly released products which should specify if the product you are request has been made available.
Thanks
Henry FlyingThingZ, Inc.
Reply to
Scotty

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